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How best to paint good quality cherry cabinets?

6 years ago

A couple years ago, I bought some lovely beaded inset Rutt cabinets at a local non-profit building materials recycling store (Community Forklift, for those in the DC area). They are an unusual set of sizes, and with uppers that are only 33" tall, so I have been storing them until an appropriate kitchen came along.

Now one has, but the cherry is way too dark for the space. My contractor thinks painting cherry is a mortal sin, so he only tries to dissuade me. I am hoping that someone here has some concrete ideas of how I should proceed.

The house is a non-fancy frame 1880 rowhouse that predates the more imposing brick rowhouses nearby by 30 years, The kitchen floor is some kind of darkened and sealed terracotta tiles similar to what the French call tomates, which gives the space a kind of farmouse or cottage look. I can envision a matte -- maybe with a semi-transparent water color-ish look, but not distressed -- finish in sage, muted yellow, biscuit, ivory. gray, or similar. I have no idea how to get this effect or how to prepare the cabinets beforehand.

I like the idea of milk paint, but it seems that it may be unsuited to the messiness of kitchen life without a lot of maintenance, which is unrealistic in this case. Ditto chalk paint.

I am more than amenable to any suggestion about how to proceed.

I am amenable to being guided by URLs. (or maybe UFOs).

Thanks ahead to anyone who takes up this challenge.


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